LABEL: Penultimate Records
OWNER/OPERATOR: Jamie Mallinder
BASED IN: Perth, WA
CURRENT ROSTER: Bukowski (AUS), Brightr (UK)
Tell us a bit about yourself and how Penultimate Records got started?
I am Jamie Mallinder, the owner / label manager Penultimate Records.
As a former musician, I was lucky enough to be in a band that picked up a range of tour supports and inclusions at notable Australian festivals including the Taste of Chaos, Van’s Boys of Summer and Soundwave. As any working musician will tell you, life in a band can be challenging and expensive. When my wife became pregnant with our first daughter (about 7 years ago) I decided to take an extended break from music and before I knew it I had built a career outside of the music industry.
Music has always been my passion but the touring life and demands of performing isn’t for everybody, I recently realised that I can reinvest in my passion and help budding musicians by creating a record label that gives artists a fair share. With Penultimate I have carried my knowledge and frustration at the former and current state of the music industry / record labels to create a label that supports their artists under a different business model to other labels.
What inspired you to start a record label?
In recent years there has been growing frustration, disappointment and anger by artists towards record labels, not just major labels but independent DIY labels as well. You don’t have to look very hard on google to find a range of articles about bands filing lawsuits against labels, publically criticising their labels or disbanding as a result of lack of support.
After witnessing friends who were in some fairly large Australian bands experiencing issues and amassing debt both with major and ‘artist friendly labels’ I decided to start a record label that was different. The fact is that the internet has changed the industry and what artists need from a label and we have tried to embrace that rather than work against it.
Did you use any of your favourite labels as a model for Penultimate?
As a kid, I always loved Drive Thru Records. They had some amazing pop-punk and emo artists that influenced many of the bands around today. I guess what we are trying to do with Penultimate is to provide pop-punk and emo with a home in Australia, so I guess I did in terms of the types of bands but definitely not so much in terms of business model or interaction with artists.
In your opinion, has the resurgence of Vinyl given record labels new life and do you see it sticking around?
In Australia, I feel like the resurgence of vinyl hasn’t quite hit its peak yet, but it has definitely had an impact in the UK and US (particularly with DIY labels). The funny thing with vinyl is that there has been a resurgence and increase in vinyl sales, but this is only compared to 20 – 30 years of dwindling sales. Digital releases have put power in the hands of artists but I do anticipate vinyl sticking around, at the end of the day, personally as a fan I like to own and be able to hold a physical product. Nothing beats the sound of a vinyl record.
If you could sign any band who would it be?
I actually feel that we have already signed 2 of the best artists I have heard, Bukowski and Brightr. I’m so appreciative that they both currently call Penultimate Records home and have entrusted us. I guess personally Moose Blood would have been pretty cool, they are one of my favourite bands and would have made collecting all the rare releases a lot cheaper haha.
Out of newer bands I would love to have signed Catch Fire. If you haven’t heard them yet you need to. A Love That I Still Miss is amazing! Check out tracks ‘Thin Ice’, ‘Curfew’ and IMO the best track on the album ‘Reality’.
What advice would you give to those looking to start up one of their own?
Treat your artist’s right and keep your earning expectations in check. There are enough labels out there trying to drain and control their artists.
Check out Penultimate Records at any one of these links and have a listen to the label sampler below!